on 11 April 2009
This is a fantastic introduction to all things mathematical. The emphasis is on mathematical *thinking* rather than methods, and numerous puzzles and props allow the maths to be really understood.
But... the book is an introduction to the methods of a professional mathematician, so the topics aren't algebra, trigonometry, calculus. Rather there are loads of interesting and challenging examples from knot theory, topology, chaos theory, equivalence classes, number theory, voting maths. Comes with 3D glasses, non transitive dice, CD-Rom etc.
Well worth the not-insubstantial price. Perhaps accompanied with the other expensive but excellent book Mathematics from the Birth Of Numbers, which is far more 'traditional' (lots of algebra, proof as well as history of maths).
on 14 May 2011
The Heart of Mathematics is one of the best texts designed to improve mathematical thinking I have come across. It is packed with interesting problems and resources.
I am not sure that I would have paid the new price, but the used copy that I purchased was much cheaper and in very good condition.
I have only had the book for few weeks, but have already used a number of the tasks in my lessons (KS3 and 4). It has worked particularly well with getting some of the lowest ability students motivated and interested. They recently came to a lesson armed with problems that they had researched themselves to challenge me. This is a group that would normally be reluctant to do any work at all!